How to Care for Live Crickets, Keeping Your Crickets Alive

How to Care for Live Crickets

~ Handling Crickets ~

For all you reptile owners out there, I’m sure you know how difficult it can be to keep your crickets alive long enough to feed your animal.  More often than not, a good portion of them are dead either on arrival or soon after.  The result is you have to throw out many dollars-worth of the live feed.  It’s not a good feeling, is it? Following is a post with tips on how to care for live crickets so that you never have problems with them.

How to Care for Live Crickets
Acheta domestica cricket

So, unless you plan on breeding your crickets, you need to know how to care for live crickets from the time they arrive at your door. As soon as possible after your cricket shipment arrives, take them out of the box they came in; this can be tricky, and you’ll have to develop your own system for this. Otherwise, you WILL have crickets running all over your house!  Not a truly bad thing, it’s just that you didn’t order them to be your house pets.

I went out and bought a tall plastic storage container – one that the crickets can’t jump out of.  They also can’t climb the smooth surface of the plastic.  I cut out some rectangular shapes on either end and taped metal screening over the opening so that the crickets can breathe and have oxygen.

If possible, don’t use any type of cover on the cricket container.  Fresh, moving air will drastically increase the cricket lifespan.  But we understand this may come with undesirable results, so a screen is the 2nd best option.

Keep the egg crates that came in the shipping boxes. Crickets always seek out dark spaces, and these are perfect for that.  I also save toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls for this reason as well.  I supply plenty of dark space so that they’re not all clamoring for the same little areas.

Quantities of 1,000 crickets or more will need at minimum a 10-gallon container. (Crickets over a ½” will need a 15+ gallon container with a depth of at least 15”.)

RELATED:
Bearded Dragon Care Sheet: How to Care for Your Pet Dragon

You can also buy “Cricket Keepers” at various pet stores.  These come with tubes that the crickets can climb up in and are quite handy.  However, if you have too many crickets in one tube, the ones at the end of the tube tend to die quickly.  They get squashed, or lack oxygen, or can’t get to their food or nutrition, etc.  The larger ones are supposed to be good for 200 crickets, but I find that a little too crowded.

Crickets can endure heat but are sensitive to colder temperatures. Winter shipments of crickets that appear lifeless are usually in a state of hibernation. Allow your crickets to warm up to room temperature for two or three hours before passing judgment on their condition. The cold temperatures can cause the crickets to become dormant, but after a few hours at room temperature, they usually perk right up.

The ideal range of temperature for your live crickets should be between 70° – 75° F, which is critical for proper function of crickets’ metabolism and immune system. Do not expose crickets to direct sunlight, high humidity, or drafts of cold air.

Keep your cricket containers clean at all times to ensure a healthier, longer life for your crickets. Keep your tank free of all dead crickets and waste material. Rinse it out with hot water or a mild bleach solution.

Pesticides or cleaning solutions, other than a mild bleach solution, should NEVER be used to clean your cricket container. Make sure your container is dry before adding more crickets as can drown in very little water.  If you keep up with this simple maintenance, your crickets should live to be a lasting supply of live feed for your pet.

How to Care for Live Crickets

How to Care for Live Crickets

– Feeding and Watering

Crickets are relatively easy to keep. They need basic food and water to survive, and when well taken care of, they will remain a good, active supply of live crickets to feed your pet for weeks. Always have on hand a dry food source and a separate water source for your crickets.

You can buy dry cricket food, available at all pet stores and from live cricket retailers, or you can feed them oatmeal or cornmeal from your kitchen.  Other food sources are chicken mash or chick starter, available at feed stores.  Be sure to change the food out weekly, or as needed.  Do not let it get damp or moldy.

UPDATE: 

Chicken mash is a good food source.  But to simplify it, you can use a piece of wheat bread.  Bread is great, and easy to find, and always on hand.

Having water available to your crickets at all times is crucial. One of the quickest ways to kill crickets is to take them away from their water source, but also know, again, that crickets drown very quickly, which is why we do not recommend you have an open pool of water near your crickets. Your “watering device” can be a simple damp sponge sitting on a shallow plate, but check it daily to make sure it is damp! Oranges are great sources of water.

You can also buy “cubes” (see Update below) which are known as Water Bites.  Or, you can buy “Total Bites,” which is a combination of both water and nutrients for your crickets. You will often receive your shipment of crickets with either Water Bites or Total Bites, as well a chunk of potato.

UPDATE:

The problem we find with those water cubes is that they are packed with too many nutrients and supplements. because of that, they actually don’t hydrate your crickets as well as advertised.

Potatoes serve as both a water and a food source.  However, do not use potatoes as a daily food source for your crickets because potatoes can cause a damp environment that if left for more than three days can be harmful to our species of cricket.

I hope you have learned how to care for live crickets!  Good luck!

Original Source: Armstrong Crickets

UPDATES PROVIDED BY The Critter Depot

How to Care for Live Crickets

MY QUESTION FOR YOU TODAY:

Do you have pet reptiles in your home? What are they?

*** Please leave a comment below and remember to share. ***

(It’s just sexy!)

Jeanne Melanson, Founder of Animal Bliss, a very cool blog about animals - wildlife and domestic too - https://www.animalbliss.com

As always, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog!

PEACE

DISCLOSURE: Animal Bliss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

(In other words, we’ll get a very small (teeny tiny) commission from purchases made through links on this website.)

So, go on … Don’t be shy!

Buy Something BIG and Expensive!

Thank you!

😀

Follow Me:

Jeanne Melanson

Owner at Animal Bliss
Born in Nova Scotia, I moved to the United States 20+ years ago.I am a dedicated lover of animals and fight for their rights and protection.I love people too, of course, and enjoy meeting folks from all walks of life.I enjoy philosophical discussion, laughing, and really odd ball stuff.I hope you enjoy my site.Leave me a comment to let me know you were here!Peace out.
Follow Me:

8 thoughts on “How to Care for Live Crickets, Keeping Your Crickets Alive

  1. I keep 4 tarantulas and a dictator scorpion. Honduran Curley hair, King baboon, Chilian rosehair, and cobalt blue.

    I can’t seem the keep the crickets alive 🙁

    • That’s quite a collection you have there, Mike. I wouldn’t think any of those would have crickets in their diet but I know nothing about them. Thanks for visiting Animal Bliss today.

  2. Hi, I was wondering when I bought my crickets they asked me small or large? Does this mean age? Also if all my crickets are staying together, will they naturally try to make more crickets?

    • Kelsa, small or large crickets refer to their size. You should never feed a bearded dragon anything wider than its head, so a baby beardie should only have the small ones. You don’t want them to choke. On that note, it also refers to their age. An adult beardie can eat the medium or large crickets. Large crickets are older, so they won’t last as long as the medium. Mediums may last a couple of weeks, depending on their care.

      Crickets will breed, but only under specific conditions, which is another topic altogether. For the amount of time you’ll have your crickets, don’t expect to hear the waa-waa of little wee ones. 🙂 Thanks for your visit and questions!

  3. I read the article “How to keep crickets alive”. But my crickets die after 3 days anyway. I have a tarantula, he loves crickets. Last time I got abt 2 dozen. Within 3 days everyone of them gone. Help! Don’t know what to do.

    • Theresa, your crickets should last longer than 3 days. Are they able to have oxygen, food, and hydration? Are you keeping them in a cricket keeper or container with holes, cricket food and orange pellets? (They also need hiding places, like toilet paper rolls.) Are you buying the adult crickets? If so, try getting juveniles instead. They should last longer because they’re not already reaching the end of life. If you’re doing all these things anyway, maybe you need to find a new supplier. Let me know how it goes! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. Jeanne I couldn’t agree more with you about the importance of providing water. Most cricket tubs seem to come with basic food in (for example bran) but no water.

    A source of moisture – like the sponge you mention or even some fruits/vegetables like sliced carrot – can help to keep crickets alive indefinitely.

    Infact, I’ve even been successful breeding them from time to time, which can come in handy from a budget perspective! 🙂
    Paige recently posted…Beginners Guide to Keeping Pet Stick InsectsMy Profile

    • Hey Paige! I’m glad you visited my blog today. I see it’s your first time. I order my crickets 500 at a time, so I make sure they get everything they need to last weeks. I’ve only got the one Bearded Dragon, so I need to make them last quite a while. I see you’ve written a “Beginners Guide to Keeping Pet Stick Insects”. Interesting. Did you see that I wrote an article on that as well? I’ll go read yours now. Thanks so much!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Please Share - Thank you!